Foamin’, Frontin’, February

by admin on 2016/02/17

[Jimbaux is still his own worst enemy.]

Before we begin, let’s just say that my troops, having long been in exile and in preparation for an assault to reclaim their territory, have established a beachhead, but they have a very tenuous hold; we’ll see how the battle progresses over the next few weeks.

Warning: Unimpressive Photography

Yeah, this is far from my best, and the primary purpose of this article – or, more accurately, its excuse for existence – is to document some railroad construction taking place in New Orleans at the former intersection of the New Orleans Terminal Company and the New Orleans & Northeastern.

I wanted to document some of the construction taking place on the Norfolk Southern Railway lines in New Orleans, and I did that today after I got a coupe of lane pictures of a train.  NS SD0-2 6135 left Oliver Yard to go and grab a cut of cars that was sitting on the Northbound mainline of the Back Belt.  Here it is dragging the cars toward the yard.

What may soon look different about this scene is that a track coming straight from where the point-of-tancgency of that curve is to where I am standing may be added in the near future, an reinstallation of the New Orleans Terminal Company mainline that was removed decades ago.

Here comes the train on the track into the yard.

Yes, I’ve done this view enough times.

Okay, so here is the view in essentially the opposite direction, and the area in the near foreground was cluttered with brush until recently.

Maybe that is just a survey marker, and maybe the brush was cleared here just to reach that area, but I am now having trouble thinking that this is anything other than preparations for rebuilding the track through here that was removed decades ago, and that concrete-and-steel structure in the middle is the remaining bridge over the Peoples Avenue Canal that was never removed and might even be used again if still structurally sound.

Note the lift bridge in the back, on the same line that once went – and, apparently, will soon again go – continuously through here.  In the middle ground, you can see construction equipment, as NS is also rebuilding a connection – that had, more than 40 years ago, been there as part of the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad’s way of getting to its Canal Yard – from its north-south mainline into town (the track going across the frame in the picture) to the Chalmette Branch, here the former New Orleans Terminal Company track that today’s “Back Belt” once was.

I am told that this is all because of crude oil shipments that will be arriving by unit train to one of the refineries on the line soon, but that makes me wonder why the connecting track in the northeast quadrant (the left background of the above picture) is needed, since NS doesn’t originate any crude oil shipments; the only thing that I can guess is that some of these trains would originate on the Canadian Pacific Railway and be interchanged to NS in Chicago.  That aside, the old NOTCo through track makes sense for any shipments coming from BNSF, Union Pacific, or the Canadian National Railway.

In any event, it will be interesting to see what happens here.

JBX

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